Homemade Basil Pesto

Only a handful of ingredients are needed to make the lushest basil pesto you’ll ever taste. It only takes 5 minutes to make, so you have no excuse not to ditch the store-bought stuff.

Basil Pesto - Close Encounters of the Cooking Kind

Boy oh boy, have I got a treat for you today. It’s going to rock your world. It’s going to make re-evaluate everything. Okay, maybe not everything. But it might change your life. Today I’m going to show you how to make your own basil pesto. From scratch!

Basil Pesto - Close Encounters of the Cooking Kind

Once you’ve made your own pesto, you’ll never go back to the stuff from a jar. The jarred stuff is just so bleh compared to the mix of freshly blended basil, pine nuts and parmesan cheese. Your mouth will be watering at the first thought of homemade pesto and your brain will forgive you for not bringing it into your life sooner when it gets a taste of the stuff.

Basil Pesto - Close Encounters of the Cooking Kind

I’m going to tell it to you straight: I’ve never been a big pesto fan. I like it enough, but pesto-flavoured anything wouldn’t be the first thing I’d order from a menu. It probably wouldn’t even be one of the top 5 things I’d order. I’ve just always been a bit ‘meh’ about it. But I’ve only ever eaten the stuff from a jar.

Basil Pesto - Close Encounters of the Cooking Kind

So I wanted to give pesto a chance to knock my apathetic socks right off by putting it to the ultimate test. Everybody is always going on about how homemade is better than store-bought. And they are pretty much always right. I felt I couldn’t dismiss poor old pesto so quickly without giving the homemade stuff a go. And do you know what? It’s good. So damn good in fact, that I might go make me some more right now! Stay tuned for a new recipe containing this luscious basil pesto very soon.

Basil Pesto - Close Encounters of the Cooking Kind

Homemade Basil Pesto

  • Servings: about ⅓ cup, enough for two big servings of pasta
  • Print

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 


1 cup firmly packed fresh basil leaves
¼ cup pine nuts
1 clove garlic, crushed
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup finely grated parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Add basil, pine nuts and garlic to the bowl of a food processor (use a small bowl attachment if possible). Process for about a minute, until ingredients have come together. With the processor still running, slowly pour the olive oil through the chute. Leave running for another minute or so, then switch power off when mixture has come together fully.
  2. Spoon mixture into a small bowl and stir in grated parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Serve mixed with pasta, in a salad or dip some crackers or veggies in it. The world is your oyster! If not using immediately, store in an airtight jar with a splash of olive oil on top to keep it from drying out. Keep refrigerated and shake well or stir before using.

NOTE: Recipe can be easily doubled as needed.



  1. KCole's Creative Corner · · Reply

    I love homemade pesto so much more than the store-bought kind. I love how you just kept this pesto classic and true to its Italian roots! I actually like to add roasted walnuts instead of pine nuts, and I add a touch of Dijon. But the addition of the garlic clove sounds really nice. I’ll definitely give this a go next time I decide to make pesto. And I love the idea of serving it on pasta! Looks absolutely delicious! 🙂

    I recently made a southern cooking and baking blog.
    I would greatly appreciate it if you would check it out!
    Thanks so much!

    1. Thanks KCole! Adding roasted walnuts instead of pine nuts sounds tasty!
      Your blog looks great, I like the look of the No-Bake Oreo Layered Cake. I’m a huge fan of anything with Oreos!
      Have a great weekend 🙂

  2. Homemade basil pesto is my favourite! This looks delicious – especially served with the penne! 😀

    1. Thanks Jess! I’m a newly converted fan of pesto pasta!

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